After years of double-digit premium increases on ACA plans, we are finally seeing stability, premium reductions, richer benefits, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is returning to the market with plans in every county across Minnesota. Below we review Open Enrollment dates, ACA and non-ACA options for 2020.
You still need options for U65 clients, even if you are primarily in the Medicare or employee benefits markets. While Medicare agents want to focus on getting clients into their pipeline early, employee benefits agents are regularly asked to assist clients who are asking for different solutions. Continue reading for some of the different U65 options that are available to your clients.
Clients who do not qualify for subsidies have no reason to sign up via MNsure, and many would not wish to share their income details with MNsure in order to do so. Whether via MNsure, or direct with a carrier, every client benefits from the education and support offered by a licensed advisor. You just need an appointment, there is no additional certification needed to enroll clients off exchange in U65 major medical insurance.
MNsure, which is part of the federal exchange, has a number of subsidies available for clients to take advantage of, in order to make their health insurance more affordable. While some agents decide to become certified to sell MNsure, others refer their clients to colleague or fellow agent who specialize in subsidies and MNsure.
Agents who are certified with MNsure bring a lot of value to clients who may otherwise find themselves self-enrolling. However, by self-enrolling, these clients may find themselves confused over their benefits, and misunderstanding how networks and HSAs work. For example, by choosing an HSA plan, a client could end up missing out on ‘free’ Telemedicine or doctor visits, which are available with similar priced non-HSA plans. Or maybe they could find themselves enrolled in a Bronze plan when in fact they qualify for the additional cost-sharing subsidies built into Silver plans.
In July, the Minnesota Department of Commerce released the proposed 2019-2020 rate changes for individual and family health plans in Minnesota. We expect to see these rates confirmed at the same or lower rates in October.
ACA enrollment has been significantly dropping for those not qualifying for subsidies. Enrollment currently sits at 10.9 million showing another 4% drop in 2019. Your middle class clients who are not eligible for subsidies will be wanting education on affordable, high quality options.
Short Term Medical
Minnesota remains a 6-month Short Term Medical state, which is a strong option for clients in transition, awaiting eligibility for a group plan, or looking to reduce expenses 6 months before they ‘age-in’ to Medicare. STMs are a must have option for all agents.
UnitedHealthOne recently entered the Minnesota market with comprehensive STM plans (up to 6 months) and year-long ACA alternatives with their multi-level ‘Health Protector Guard’ (HPG) plan options. Click here to review UHOne STM and ACA alternative plans.
Accident and Indemnity plans
Modern high deductible ‘Cost Sharing’ ACA or non-ACA plans all suit pairing with Indemnity plans to cover first dollar and out-of-pocket expenses. The high level of cost-sharing is one reason that clients without Indemnity plans are struggling to use their plans. Minnesota agents are rapidly learning how to educate and present indemnity options alongside ACA, faith-based, and Medicare Advantage plans.
Remember, Indemnity plans such as Accident coverage often pay out cash sums and do not coordinate with client’s health insurance, meaning the money can be used for any purpose. Indemnity plans make insurance work better.
Consider GTL for all of your new to Medicare clients. Consider UnitedHealthOne or LifeSecure for under 65 Accident and Hospital Plans, to ensure clients have coverage that allows them to use their health insurance
Read more about how to pair indemnity plans with your clients’ coverage by clicking here.
ACA Open Enrollment dates.
- On Exchange via MNsure: November 1, 2019 thru December 23, 2019 (8 days longer than the Federal Open Enrollment period) for new plans beginning January 1, 2020.
- Off Exchange (direct with carrier): November 1, 2019 thru December 15, 2019
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